Thrift Store Redo

A few weeks ago, I bought a plastic burro at a thrift store.  😐

If you’re a regular reader, then you may remember that I have a weakness for little plastic farm animals.

I wasn’t going to buy this one, but he was perched on a ledge about six feet off the ground and he caught my eye.

I held him for a moment, then I put him back and tried to chuckle off my impulse to purchase.  He had lived a rough life and it showed.  I didn’t need him, so I left him on the ledge and walked away.

I wandered through the rest of the store, trying in futility to look for other treasures.  I was distracted all the while and almost certain that I heard him braying my name.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it.  I had to go and get him.  I rushed back, overcome with anxiety, and was relieved to see that no one else had scooped him up in my moment of parental neglect.  He was meant to be my baby and I had left him alone.  😳  I wouldn’t do it again.

I paid twenty-five cents and brought him home.  Twenty-five cents!

And this week?

This week, I named him Donkey Xote.

And I painted him a house – a colorful, cheery house with a night sky, so he can rest and dream…

Before:

After:

Happy Friday!

♥♥

Art & Artists

Light at the end of the tunnel

Just two more days with the painters here.  It has been very claustrophobic inside the house.  The windows have been closed and covered with plastic, the air off, and the temperature rising every afternoon.  I’m done, you know?

Today, thankfully, they peeled the plastic off of my sliding door in back, so at least there’s that to open.

I feel motivated to make changes in my home right now, so it has been killing me to have my schedule dictated by someone else.  I have stuff to paint and sand, but I can’t open the garage door to do it until these guys are gone.  I hear the sewing machine whistling for me too, so I need to get the house in order.

It has been great organizing the kitchen a bit, now that we have the new storage there.  I just need to channel that energy into other rooms and keep my momentum up once the painters are gone and another weekend passes by.

Wish me luck!

Eye Candy

Today I was surfing the net for inspiration and I came across a fascinating website.  It belongs to a Seattle photographer named Bradford Bohonus.  You can read about him here.

I am in love with his “high resolution interactive panoramic VR photography.” He peeks into the studios of other artists and he brings us along for the ride.

His photography is amazing and makes it possible for you and me to see how these artists work – the colors, the textures, the views out their windows, what they have on their walls.  It’s all so interesting to me.

I am amazed how much these people look like their art and their environments.  Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems like where there are clean lines in the work, there are clean lines in the studio and clean lines in the artist – neat hair & neat clothes.  Where there is chaos in the art, there is chaos in the studio, and a sense of freedom about the person – wild hair & funkier clothes.

See if you think the same thing.  And see if you don’t share my awe-struck respect for the photographer too.

Enjoy!

Happy Wednesday!

http://www.bohonus.com/galleries/personal-projects/artists-studios/

♥♥

Sweaty, Loud & Colorful Hike

The husband and I took the little boy for a walk at
Otay Valley Regional Park
this morning.

It was sweaty.

It was loud.

It was colorful.

It was beautiful.

You should try it!

Happy Sunday!

P.S.  Do any of you know if those are blueberries in
the pictures 3rd and 4th from the end?
I’ve never seen them growing before…is that them?

♥♥

Another Thrift Store Find

I bought weird art again.  😐

I just couldn’t help myself.

The little boy went back to school on Wednesday, so I went back to the thrift stores.  All three days.

Seven weeks away from them has made my eyes different – hungrier, sharper, more appreciative of their treasures, more open to possibility.

So yeah, I bought weird art again.

At the DAV store, I was looking through a pile of poorly kept posters and papers when I came across a little landscape painting.  It was shoved to the back, forgotten and fearful.

It’s an oil on canvas, ripped from its frame.  The edges are torn, the paint has cracked and even flaked away in a few spots.  There is some other damage as well – a fold, a big pen mark – signs of neglect.

It’s not painted in colors I prefer – lots of dark green.  The scene is not one I would normally be drawn to, but there is something about this painting that made me pause.

I flipped it over to find a price and was not surprised to see $39.00 scribbled in red grease pencil.  Considering the poor condition of the piece, it was easy to scoff at that number.  I probably wouldn’t take it home.

In fact, I would have put the painting down right away, but there was handwriting on the back too and I was compelled to read it.

Turns out the artist scribbled a note.  He put the date and where he was – Korea, 1985.  He also mentioned the people around him.  Just a few simple words and I could immediately picture him there, brush in hand, growling stomach, drizzling rain.  The dark green made sense.

I wanted the painting.

The DAV store is notoriously unwilling to reduce its prices on merchandise.  I decided that it wasn’t meant to be unless I could get it for $20.

I asked with expectation of a fast “no” and the same raised eyebrow and mocking chuckle I usually got, but the pricing manager shocked me this time.  I have shopped in this store since I was a very little girl and never have I been allowed a price I’ve requested.  Never.

Until yesterday.

$20 and the painting is mine.

Here it is:

Happy Friday!

P.S.  Leighann thinks the signature says “Erix.”  I’m not sure…maybe “Grix?”  Neither name yields anything meaningful from Google.  What do you think?

♥♥

Eggs, Crystal Climbers and Julia

Eggs

The little boy is very determined to decorate for Easter.

Everyday, he makes me cut out eggs from colored construction paper – dozens and dozens of eggs.

He scribbles little words or pictures on some and on the others, he wants “Mommy words.”

He frequently interrupts my writing and asks me to add a word or even to write something else entirely.

Because of that, the eggs don’t always make a lot of sense.

He writes his name on most of them and then insists on reading each one aloud.

It has actually been a great way to help him learn some new words.

His reading has improved by leaps and bounds this school year.

He loves this egg activity and we’ve done it every afternoon for a week now.

One day, I felt so wasteful that I pulled my traffic school pages out of the recycle bin and cut eggs from them too.

He decorated their plain sides, but he taped them backwards, so now we have California traffic code on our wall.

I don’t know what he remembers or believes about the Easter Bunny, but he sure has holiday spirit.

He decorates for every season and seems very invested in cutting and pasting and taping and stapling.

Every bit of it goes up on the wall or hangs from the chandelier.

It’s serious business.

As much as I don’t prefer the look of our front room a lot of the time, I am cheered by his purposeful effort to make our house into a home.

He puts his stamp on everything and takes pride in his work.

How can I be bothered by that?

Crystal Climbers

For Christmas, we got him a box of Crystal Climbers from Lakeshore Learning.

He plays with them once a week or so.

They’re not a hugely exciting toy, but he makes the most of them.

Last week, he was quietly playing with them in the front room while I was busy in the kitchen.

When I walked back to see how he was doing, he was just coming down the stairs.

He had gone to get the tape from my sewing table.

Groovy, man.

Getting the tape out of his hair made us both laugh.

Oh, how I love this little boy.

Happy Wednesday!

P.S.  Have any of you read The Reader?  Is it worth keeping in my someday pile?  You know, that’s the ginormous heap of books on top of the piano that I’d like to get to, but probably never will.  I have one friend who didn’t like the book or the movie.  What do you think?

P.P.S.  Julia Child is alive and well and showing her stuff, right in our own front yard.  Lovely.

♥♥

I Don’t Think He’s An Armadillo

I went to Kobey’s Swap Meet on Saturday.  I hadn’t been to it in a couple of years.

I knew it couldn’t hold a candle to the amazing Rose Bowl Flea Market where I went a few weeks ago, but I was unprepared for one of the bigger differences between the two.

Kobey’s is a weekly neighborhood swap meet.  Obviously, it’s much less expensive to get in and it’s a great deal smaller.  My expectations were in line with that and I was okay with it.

What I had forgotten is that Kobey’s has a much more typical Southern California pedestrian beach vibe than the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  I don’t recall seeing anyone without a shirt in Pasadena.  It’s casual there, certainly, but there’s also an unspoken code of more formal conduct and dress.

The explanation for that may be as simple as the Rose Bowl’s proximity to Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  Or it could be its reputation as a world class shopping destination.  After all, you do hear about the Rose Bowl Flea Market on national t.v. and in pretty decorating magazines.  Whatever the reason, it just has a slightly different caliber of clientele.

Not true at Kobey’s.

I worked very hard to avoid seeing bare nipples and butt cracks this weekend.

I guess I’m kind of a prude when it comes to seeing very private body parts in public.  In general, I just don’t prefer it.  And I am pretty much repelled by it when it’s not at the beach or a pool.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the beauty of every size and shape, man or woman, young or old, fat or thin.  It just that I think there’s an appropriate time and place for things.

Unfortunately, there was a shirtless guy at Kobey’s on Saturday and he was clearly following the same route I was through the market, because I couldn’t seem to shake him.

At one point, I even turned in the opposite direction just to get away from him and his bare nipples.  He was walking a few yards in front of me, but the density of the crowd was forcing the gap between us to shrink.

I abruptly turned and went back down the row I had just come up, but when I reached the center aisle, there he was again.  Ack!

Truly, there was nothing wrong with this man’s physique.  My issue with his nakery isn’t about that.

It’s just that it was a little warm, I presume he was perspiring and had removed his shirt for that reason, and it kinda grossed me out to think that the crowds might make me smash into him.  Would he be slimy?  Blech.  Put your shirt on, naked man!

As much as I enjoyed the sunny walk and browsing through the vendor stalls, I was actually relieved to reach the exit and finally get away from him.

That said, I do recommend Kobey’s.  It’s a nice way to spend a morning and it doesn’t require a huge commitment of dollars or time.  Maybe you even like shopping with shirtless guys?  There’s a little bit of everything for sale there, including fresh flowers, produce and a variety of new and used merchandise.

I bought a few children’s books at 50 cents a piece and for another $4.00, I got this guy, whom I don’t think is an armadillo:

I’m calling him Gourdy.

He is hand-carved, hollow inside, and filled with a handful of beans or pebbles.

If you shake him, he makes a pleasant, mellow, maraca sound.

I love him.

Love him.

LOVE.

Him.

He’s far more appealing than shirtless guy.

Seriously though, nipples aside, I had a good time.

Wow.

That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Do you love Gourdy too?

What do you think he is?

Write me a note.

Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Artelexia, Architectural Salvage, Little Italy

Might not have time to write later, so just wanted to share a couple of links…

My friend and I went to Artelexia, finally!  Love, love, love it!  LOVE.  IT.

Also went to Architectural Salvage in its new location next door to Artelexia.  I thought this store had closed, but I was wrong.

We also walked a bit in Little Italy, got a bite to eat at a walk-up pizza joint, and then perused a few other interesting stores on the way back to the car.

This was a very pleasant afternoon activity.  My only regret is that we did not go to Extraordinary Desserts.  I sort of feel like that’s a must if you get within a block or two.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Little Italy and it’s proximity to Lindbergh Field, let’s just say that it’s a go-to destination if you are keen on close-up viewing of GIANT FREAKING PLANES that pass over every few minutes.  I had forgotten this and I had a very intense duck-and-cover response to them.  Even so, they were very interesting.

Anyhoo…maybe more later…maybe not.  😀

Happy Monday!

♥♥